Jikos Gidiman is the manager of Danum Valley Conservation Area.
Volunteers have been working with rangers in the Danum Valley conservation area.
The Danum Valley Field Centre, described as ‘the leading rainforest research centre in the Old World tropics’ (SEARRP, 2012) is a fully protected forest reserve in recognition of its outstanding biodiversity value. It is also significant as a wildlife corridor linking Imbak Canyon to the north and Maliau Basin in the west.
The valley is home to all 10 species of primate found in Sabah, including orangutans and proboscis monkeys, as well as Bornean Pygmy Elephants, Malayan sunbears and clouded leopards. It also one of the last refuges of the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, and home to 6 of Sabah’s 10 Totally Protected species. Since 2002, Danum Valley has been involved in the Royal Society’s Sabah Biodiversity Experiment, aimed at understanding and documenting the impacts of the loss of tree biodiversity in tropical ecosystems.
“The connection between the rangers and Raleigh volunteers is even more important than some of the projects Raleigh has completed. There is an expectation by the rangers that the Raleigh groups will be there, and they look forward to working alongside them. The opportunities for learning English are particularly important as they give rangers greater confidence when interacting with foreign visitors. The volunteers’ efforts at cultural integration and building relationships with rangers have made a very positive impact on the community at Danum Valley Field Centre.”